Obtaining a thorough sleep history and routinely screening for obstructive sleep apnea

Jamie Lamm, Jane Poeschel, Sheila Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To present a clinical case study of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and discuss a potential correlation between OSA, unexplained distal pain symptoms, and pyschoemotional concerns. Data sources: A review of the scientific literature was performed on OSA using the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature and MEDLINE. Conclusions: OSA is potentially life threatening and can have serious consequences to a patient's health. Many of the obvious signs of OSA occur at night, and the symptoms of OSA may correspond to a variety of other diseases. Clinicians should recognize a possible correlation between OSA and unexplained distal pain symptoms as well as psychoemotional concerns. These clinically associated conditions may be less apparent but may dramatically affect quality of life. By improving recognition and treatment of OSA, morbidity and mortality can be reduced and quality of life can be improved for patients and their families. Implications for practice: It is imperative that clinicians are attentive and take detailed histories to recognize the clinical signs and symptoms of OSA, paying more attention to the less obvious symptomatology that may be significantly impacting quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Routine screening
  • Sleep history

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